South Africa: Establishment of the South African Geomatics Council

Published in Gazette 39052, the Geomatics Profession Act came into force on 1 August 2015. The act was assented to in December 2013. It provides for the transformation of the geomatics profession and the setting up of the South African Geomatics Council as a juristic person and its facilitation of accessibility to the geomatics profession. The geomatics practitioner collects and assesses geographic information and applies that information in the efficient administration of land, sea and structures. The act also provides for:

  • Different categories of registered persons and branches in the geomatics profession.
  • The identification of areas of work to be performed by the different categories of registered persons.
  • The recognition of certain voluntary associations by the council.
  • The measures designed to protect the public from unethical geomatics practices.
  • Measures in order to maintain a high standard of professional conduct and integrity in the profession.
  • The establishment of disciplinary mechanisms and an appeal board.


Guiana: IGN and GIS Platform mission

In March 2015, IGN (National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information) and the regional platform GIS (Geographic Information System)organized a joint mission in the municipality of Ouanary for carrying out surveys and GPS the introduction of bench marks and geodetic control points. Goal: feed the multi-thematic spatial data of the municipality. IGN is the reference public operator for Geographic and Forest Information in France. It provides support for public authorities to contribute to the analysis of the territories, facilitate the implementation of development projects and sustainable development, and facilitate enforcement.

IGN performs this year its first coming in Guyana. After visiting in Camopi, Three Jumps, Matoury, Cayenne, Rémire, Montsinéry and Roura, representatives of the Institute visited Regina, St. George and Ouanary from 10 to 13 March to perform their mission, assisted by the team of regional GIS platform, which has the opportunity to provide technical training to use the platform with municipal officials referring to the three municipalities.

The lack of accurate geometric data earlier makes it all the more precious the presence of IGN in French Guiana, in the perspective of local development. The multi-thematic data available online on the platform will benefit from the GIS-precision work carried out by the IGN in the field. The drawing up of development projects in local communities, such as the layout of roads, or installing landfills will be facilitated and justified by reliable data, the platform-SIG enables users to view and cross all data necessary for the development of a project.

India: Bhuvan Ganga (Ganges) Web Portal

The recently launched Bhuvan Ganga web portal and the Bhuvan Ganga mobile application will use existing geospatial information and crowd-sourced reporting to monitor pollution levels in the River Ganga (Ganges). The data portal already provides access to a variety of geospatial information including as flood hazard zones and environmental data and visitors to the site will be able to contribute to the project by uploading shapefiles and WMS layers.

Impressed by geospatial resources such as Google Earth, but concerned about potential misuses of the information following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008, the Indian Government launched its own version, describing Bhuvan as a gateway to the geospatial world. The benefits of providing open access to national, regional and local geospatial information outweighed lingering concerns over potential future attacks. Over the last seven years the site has developed into a comprehensive resource of geospatial datasets and services.

The Bhuvan geoportal includes high resolution satellite image, hydrological layers (basins, sub-basin, watershed boundaries and drainage), natural resources information (land use/land cover, wasteland, soil, geology & geomorphology and urban growth), disaster related layers, water resources projects and canal network. Continuous update of the portal is planned with water quality maps using satellite data, after integrating with the field measured water quality data.

The user-friendly, android mobile application is developed to enable the public to collect and report information on various pollution sources that affect the water quality of the river Ganga. The app has provision to collect information regarding urban sewage, semi-urban/rural sewage, natural drains/nallas, industrial waste water, solid waste disposal or any other pollution source. The first version of the application is available for download from the Bhuvan Ganga portal.

New project to assess hazard exposure in five African countries

The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) recently awarded a contract for the development of a physical exposure database for five countries in Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Senegal, and Uganda. Key project tasks include development of spatial data on structural and infrastructural assets and estimates of their replacement costs; projection of the spatial distribution of population and Gross Domestic Product in the year 2050 consistent with socioeconomic scenario data currently under development by the research and assessment community; and collaboration with four other teams to support the integration of the exposure data with assessments of earthquake, flood, drought, and landslide hazards. Project partners include ImageCat, CIESIN, the University of Colorado Boulder, SecondMuse, and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Nairobi.

Read details here

AARSE Survey on the Utilization of African National Earth Observation Satellite Products

The African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE) launched an online survey to the African community working in the field of remote sensing and geospatial information to gather more information about the satellite sensors available in Africa, the remotely sensed data usage in research and development, as well as policies.
The survey had 10 questions that ranged from availability and accessibility of data to the policy. The results of the survey have been summarized in a report. The results will help in understanding the factors that foster or hinder the access and usage of remotely sensed data.

Read report here

Regional Forum on National SDI calls for harmonised spatial data management

The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) organized a two-day Regional National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) forum in Kigali, Rwanda with local host Rwanda Natural Resources Authority.

The forum was attended by RCMRD member countries’ representatives, advisors from countries that have successfully implemented NSDI (South Africa, USA, Malaysia), resource experts, potential participants from other parts of Africa, and other Spatial Data Infrastructures stakeholders and RCMRD partners.

The first day of the forum focused on the basics of NSDI, definitions and the realities of implementation and management, legal and political factors, institutional frameworks and the sustainability of NSDIs.
The second day focused on the benefits of Spatial Data Infrastructures, examining the readiness of NSDI for countries and acquiring buy-in. In addition, there was a focus on case studies of NSDI initiatives in selected countries and challenges in the implementation process of NSDIs. Technical experts also had the opportunity to demonstrate samples of geo-portals at a stand within the venue.

Seychelles: WebGIS of Ministry of Land Use and Housing (MLUH) facilitates national Strategic Plan

The Seychelles Planning Authority hits the ground running. No sooner had the kick off meeting for the project to prepare the country’s new Strategic Plan been organised, the Planning Authority started with its consultations with key stakeholders from across the Government, NGO, district Authorities and Private sectors. This of course is an essential element of the project being implemented with the support of a London based international consulting firm, ARUP, recruited for that purpose.

The aim of the Plan is to build on existing aspirations and set a vision for the future of the Seychelles up to the year 2040. The Strategy will deliver sustainable and integrated solutions for the economy; the community; and the environment and address a number of critical issues such as establishing opportunities for growth and sustainable locations where development will occur across Seychelles.

The Centre for GIS and IT support Services of the Ministry of Land Use and Housing (MLUH) already has developed its GIS & WebGIS which can be used to support analysis and visualization for the Plan.

See MLUH WebGIS, [To use the MLUH WebGIS, and up-to-date web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer 9+ is required].